top of page

Jackery Lithium Batteries Review: Our Favorite Battery for Astrophotography!

Updated: May 20, 2023


The Jackery Explorer 1000 battery

The Jackery batteries are lightweight lithium batteries that can be used for camping, outdoor activities, and... astrophotography!


Jackery batteries are user-friendly, and simple to use. They have multiple ports for most types of cables, an LCD display, and even a built-in flashlight! They're also eco--friendly as they can be completely recharged using solar panels, which we'll go over later in this post!

We have used two versions of the Jackery battery. The Jackery Explorer 500, and the Jackery Explorer 1000. We'll tell you which one we suggest for your telescope rig and if they are worth the price.

See the battery in action by watching the two reviews we made on YouTube. Here is our video review for the Jackery 500 and here is our video review for the Jackery 1000.


Jackery Lithium Battery Full Review


Table of Contents:

  • Why did we get this battery?

  • What's in the box?

  • The Solar Panels

  • Specs & Price

  • Pros & Cons

  • Final Verdict

 

Why did we get the Jackery battery?


We've started our astrophotography journey with an $80 jump starter we bought from Walmart. It worked fine for a few months.. until it decided to just die without any indication. Not cool when you just spent an hour driving to a dark location, and an hour setting up your equipment... 🤦🏼‍♂️


We then had no choice but to upgrade to a more reliable source of power. We spent several hours on astronomy forums to learn what would be the best option to power astrophotography equipment on the field. Back then, 99.99% of people suggested a marine battery (or "deep cycle" battery). These are often used to power boats, and have an excellent life expectancy as long as they are well taken care of. Sounds great, right? Well, it has some downsides:


  1. Deep cycle batteries are very, very, VERY heavy (our 100ah battery weighs 65 pounds!) and they will hurt your back over time, no matter how fit you are. Imagine having to carry a 65-lbs brick to your car every time you want to image... especially if the parking lot is as far from your apartment as it used to be in our case.

  2. Deep cycle batteries are not user-friendly. There are no ports for cables, no buttons, and no screen display... People with knowledge of electricity can easily build a box around the battery itself with ports and everything you need to transform this brick into a user-friendly battery, but let's face it, not everybody can do this.

  3. Deep cycle batteries are ugly. Sorry, I'm so sick of these batteries that I had to find a third downside. Jokes aside, it doesn't matter how they look. My back and I just hate them now.

The Jackery battery design Vs a typical Deep Cycle Battery
The Jackery battery design Vs a typical Deep Cycle Battery

Back to the question, why did we get a Jackery battery?

You probably already guessed from the previous paragraph, we decided to get a Jackery battery because of the weight!


Dalia was never able to even lift our 100ah battery off the ground, and I always hated carrying it to the car before heading out to image. Yes, you can just use your legs and not your back when lifting heavy things, but the weight difference between a lithium battery and a deep-cycle battery is insane!


It is honestly scary to think about what kind of damage a heavy battery can do to your back over time without you realizing it. We know we will be in this hobby for life, and so upgrading to a lightweight battery now is much better than doing so in 20 years.


Another reason we wanted a battery like the Jackery one is because of how easy it is to plug cables in. The mount goes straight to the cigarette lighter port, the flats panel can go right in the USB port, and the PC, if low on juice, can be recharged by plugging it into the AC port.


Jackery Battery Explorer 500 camping

We also love the fact that we can travel with this battery and do other things with it besides astrophotography!


We always take our Jackery battery with us when going on a camping weekend or on a road trip, and it is such a breeze to use in any situation.



 

What's in the box?


The battery comes in one box, with an additional box if you purchased solar panels.



In the box, you'll find:

  • The Jackery Battery

  • 1 x AC charging cable

  • 1 x Cigarette lighter charging cable

  • 1 x Pouch

  • The warranty card, the manual, a cool keychain, and the usual paper stuff that nobody reads 😄

If you decided to purchase a separate solar panel, or bought the battery as a Solar Generator bundle, a second box will come to your door that contains the solar panels.


If you are interested, you can watch our unboxing video of the Jackery Explorer 500 and SolarSaga 100 below! We also review the Jackery 500 for astrophotography and compare it with our deep cycle battery.



 

The Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panels

The solar panels (called the "Jackery SolarSaga" panels) are a fantastic addition to any Jackery battery, especially if you ever plan to do astrophotography while camping!



The Jackery Solar Panels fold up in half and have a hole on each extremity that serves as a handle when the panel is folded down. They are very easy to carry and are also lightweight (10 pounds, less than 5 kilograms)!


Not only are these solar panels designed to recharge your Jackery battery, they also contain two additional ports, one USB-A and one USB-C so that you can directly recharge your phone or tablet using the power of the sun! 🌞



Jakery SolarSaga solar panel design
Jackery SolarSaga 100 Design - Jackery

The peak power for each SolarSaga 100 solar panel is 100W.


If you often go camping and want to charge your battery as fast as possible during the day. it is a great idea to get two or even three solar panels! Jackery provides a power splitter adapter that allows you to connect several panels to the same battery, multiplying the recharge input and thus charging the battery twice or thrice as fast!


 

Specs & Price


Below are the main specifications for both the Jackery Explorer 500 and the Jackery Explorer 1000, which are the two batteries we recommend for astrophotography.


General Specs

Explorer 500 | Explorer 1000

  • Wattage Output: 500 | 1000

  • Wh: 518Wh | 1002Wh

  • Ah: 24Ah | 46.4Ah

  • Pure Sin Wave AC Outlets: 1 | 3

  • USB-A Ports: 3 | 2

  • USB-C Outlets: 0 | 2

  • 12V Cigarette Lighter Ports: 1 | 1

  • 12V DC ports: 2 | 0

  • Weight: 13.32 lbs (6.04 kg) | 22.04 lbs (10 kg)

  • Dimensions: 11.8 x 7.6 x 9.2 in | 13.1 x 9.2 x 11.1 in

And below are some interesting notes showing how long each battery can power common electronic equipment out in the field:

Jackery Explorer battery usage - Jackery
Jackery Explorer battery usage - Jackery



Pricing


Now, what about the price?

The Jackery batteries are available in several different models. The one we recommend getting for most setups is the Jackery Explorer 500. This should power your equipment all night as long as you do not use it to charge your laptop at the same time. Using the ASIAir or Stellarmate is a great option in this case.


The Jackery Explorer 500 costs $499.99.

The Jackery Solar Generator 500 (Jackery Explorer 500 + Jackery SolarSaga 100W) bundle costs $799.98.


The 1000 version, which we recommend for advanced astrophotography rigs that include a mini PC or accessories that draw a lot of power, costs $999.99.

The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 (Jackery Explorer 1000 + two Jackery SolarSaga 100W) bundle costs $1599.97.


The smallest Jackery battery, the Jackery Explorer 160 only costs $139.99, while the most powerful version, the Jackery Explorer 2000 costs $2,099.99.


 

Pros & Cons


So, what are the Pros & Cons of the Jackery lithium batteries?



POSITIVES:

  • The design and built-in features

The design of the Jackery batteries is really excellent. Plenty of ports for different types of cables, an LCD display that lights up by the click of a button, an integrated flashlight, a built-in handle... Our only wish is that there would be an extra cigarette lighter port, but we'll go over that in the Negatives section.

Also, we're very happy that the orange color on the Jackery batteries match the Galactic Hunter orange color we use everywhere 😁

  • The weight

This is for us the main reason why we wanted a lithium battery! The Jackery Explorer 1000 (the biggest of the two we have) weighs just 22 lbs! For comparison, the deep cycle battery we have that has the same capacity as the Explorer 1000 is... 65 lbs! ☠️ As for the Jackery Explorer 500, which we use with our ASIAir rig, only weighs 13 lbs, which is nothing!

  • The power

Our main concern when switching from a deep cycle battery to a lithium battery was the power. Will the lithium battery last long enough to power our astrophotography equipment all night, like our deep cycle did? Well, the answer is yes! The Jackery Explorer 500 lasts all night powering a mount, an astronomy camera, an electronic focuser, and the ASIAir. As for our advanced rig (which has a larger focuser and most importantly a mini PC), the Jackery Explorer 1000 works fine all night with plenty of power to spare! The only thing we would be careful about is with dew heaters. Here in the desert, we never had any need for a dew heater, but those draw quite a lot of power, so make sure to take that into consideration when choosing a battery.


NEGATIVES:


  • No way to tell when the battery reaches the end of its life

One downside of lithium batteries, such as the Jackery batteries, is the fact that there isn't really any way to know when the battery will die in the long run. Unlike a deep cycle battery, there isn't any way to connect a device to measure the battery's remaining life expectancy. This can be a little stressful, especially if the battery you bought is a few years old already and you have no idea when it will stop working.

  • Only one cigarette lighter port

In both YouTube videos we made about the Jackery batteries, a few people said they were annoyed that the batteries only had one cigarette lighter port. This concern makes sense, as most people power their mount using one port, and the rest of their equipment using a second port. We never had an issue with this though because we never have more than one cable going down to the battery. Every piece of equipment we have is connected to either the ASIAir Pro or our Pegasus Astro Powerbox. Both the ASIAir and the Powerbox get power from the battery from one single cable and divide that power into the rest of the equipment. If you do not own either of these though, you might want to consider getting a cigarette lighter splitter.


 

Final Verdict


So, in conclusion, what do we think of the Jackery batteries for astrophotography?

We are in love with these! It is frustrating to think that we spent the last 5+ years with deep cycle batteries and did not have one of these until now. They truly are life-changing for people who do astrophotography on a regular basis and away from home. Carrying the Jackery battery to the car is a breeze, plugging cables to it couldn't be easier, and checking on the battery status is just one button away!



girl lifts Jackery explorer battery

We will be using the Jackery batteries for all our astrophotography content from now on, and are happy to say that we will never be lifting our deep cycle batteries ever again.


Is there anything you would like us to add to this review? Did we miss a positive or a negative? Did we forget to mention something important? Let us know in the comments!

 

Example Images Taken while using the Jackery batteries


Below are just a few images we have taken while using either the Jackery Explorer 500 or the Jackery Explorer 1000!




 

Our Review Video of the Jackery Solar Generator 1000

Want to see the battery in action? Head over to our YouTube channel or watch our video below!



Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to stay up to date with our work!


Clear Skies,

Antoine & Dalia Grelin

Galactic Hunter




 

You might also like...



Beginner Astrophotography Equipment for imaging deep sky objects with a DSLR camera, a complete guide and tutorial by Galactic Hunter with telescopes, cameras. mounts and accessories

 

GALACTIC HUNTER BOOKS




Related Posts

See All

1 Comment


Guest
Feb 15, 2023

Stackable Integrated Battery's most popular products in Europe in 2023

https://www.essvalley.com/All-In-One-Stackable-ESS-pd41147420.html

Like
PROCESSING GUIDES
PixInsight Processing Guides
GET OUR NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to our newsletter and instantly receive 7 free wallpapers!

Messier Workbook 300x300px ad.jpg
THE GALACTIC COURSE

Learn astrophotography with our premium online course. Get lifetime access to all types of imaging content!

Galactic Course Logo transparent.png
bottom of page